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Peace bus to roll down Rajpath on Republic Day

By Ajay Kaul in New Delhi
January 18, 2006 15:06 IST
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The 'Aman Setu' (peace bridge) and the 'Carvan-e-aman', symbols of reunion of the people of Jammu and Kashmir divided by the Line of Control 58 years ago, will come alive on the historic Rajpath on this year's Republic Day.

Captured in the form a tableau, the historic event of April 7, 2005, when the bridge was reopened, will be showcased before the nation during the main celebrations to be presided by President A P J Abdul Kalam.

The float from Jammu and Kashmir depicts the 'Kaman Post', the last point on the LoC, and 'Aman Setu', which stands across the dividing line in Jammu and Kashmir, in an ambience reflecting the culture of the state.

On the bridge will be seen people in traditional Kashmiri attire crossing over to mark shattering of the 57-year-old mental and physical barriers.

Complete coverage: The Road to Peace

With the famous Kashmiri number 'Bhumbro Bhumbro' forming the backdrop, folk dancers will sing and dance in front of the bridge to celebrate the occasion.

The Sringar-Muzaffarabad bus, titled 'Carvan-e-Aman' (caravan of peace), can be seen approaching the bridge at the end of the tableau.

"The theme of Carvan-e-Aman was chosen to represent Jammu and Kashmir because it marks the most important event of the year 2005," its designer Veer Munshi told PTI.

"The theme reminds one of the historic development," said Munshi whose three tableau have already won first prizes earlier.

He said the theme for the float was selected from three choices by a three-member committee headed by the J&K chief secretary.

'Carvan-e-aman' will be among 24 tableaux from various states and departments of the central government to be part of the Republic Day celebrations.

Kaman Post was a dreadful place resounding with booming guns till about two years back. But now the Kaman forward area in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir has become a gateway between two parts of the divided state.

A dividing line earlier, the Kaman Bridge, now named as 'Aman Setu' (peace bridge), has become a uniting platform between the people of Jammu and Kashmir on two sides of the LoC dividing Kashmir.

On April 7 last year, 49 people from either side of J&K crossed into the other part of the state as part of the launch of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, giving a new hope to the people of the state.

India and Pakistan had decided to start the bus service on this traditional route as part of confidence building measures.

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Ajay Kaul in New Delhi
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